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US does not provide information to Russia on IS positions in Syria — General Staff

October 16, 2015, 13:20 UTC+3
Russia has deployed in Syria practically the entire complex of the reconnaissance means, except for battlefield reconnaissance
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US Navy at the Primary Air Control aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, deployed in the Persian Gulf

US Navy at the Primary Air Control aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, deployed in the Persian Gulf

© AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic

MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. The United States does not provide to Russia data on the positions of the Free Syrian Army and Islamic State militants, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov said on Friday.

"They do not give us this information. We have repeatedly asked them to do so and talked about it in the media more than once. The reasons for such a stance are not quite clear to us so far," Kartapolov told the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.

According to him, the American side either does not have such information or conceals it from Russia. "That means that it doesn’t want us to attack the real Islamic State positions," he added.

US intelligence did not spot transfer of Russian forces to Syria

Kartapolov claims US intelligence could not have spotted the transfer of Russian equipment, planes and other weapons to Syria.

"We used a number of different technical, informational and tactical methods. You know the result. If [US intelligence] really saw it [transfer of Russian equipment to Syria] then [US President Barack] Obama would have hardly kept silent," Kartapolov said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.

He also said that "US did not understand the essence of our work and did not know what it was aimed at."

"I do not want to offend our American colleagues. They can keep what they thought," Kratapolov noted.

Russia uses all reconnaissance means in Syria

The officer noted that Russia has deployed in Syria practically the entire complex of the reconnaissance means, except for battlefield reconnaissance.

"We have deployed the whole set of permanently operating reconnaissance equipment. So we actually have no secrets in this regard," he said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily, answering a question how the Russian military get information about the positions of militants of Islamic State (outlawed in Russian terrorist group).

According to Kartapolov, the whole set of the reconnaissance means is engaged on a permanent basis. "For the exception of the battlefield reconnaissance, because we have not conducted this reconnaissance - because there are no Russian ground troops there," he said.

Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian Air Forces coordinate actions in Syria with Russia

The officer said the information received by the Russian side from the Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian reconnaissance services on the Islamic State facilities is many times verified for maximum precision of the airstrikes.

"We, naturally also use the information we get within the framework of the information committee in Baghdad - from our partners, from reconnaissance services of Iraq, Syria and Iran. They have a lot of information, but we certainly check all the information. And, naturally, we make the decision on the airstrike targets," he said.

The Air Forces of Syria, Iraq and Iran, he said, "fulfil their tasks according to their plans," but coordinate their actions with Russia.

Islamic State terrorists hide in Syria’s hospitals, mosques

Kartapolov said Islamic State terrorists in Syria are leaving their positions and are now hiding in mosques and hospitals disguised as civilians.

"Terrorists are abandoning their positions and retreating trying to hide in remote areas, various caves and cliffs. They are trying to hide in mosques, in hospitals and are trying to scatter around under the guise of civilians," he told the daily.

Russia's airstrikes in Syria

Russia launched an air operation against terrorists in Syria on September 30 at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian Aerospace Force’s aviation grouping comprises over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including the newest Sukhoi Su-34 warplanes, Su-30SM fighter jets, modernized Su-24M bombers and Su-25SM attack aircraft, as well as the Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. The Russian Navy has also delivered strikes from the Caspian Sea on the night to October 7 against militants’ objectives in Syria, using Kalibr long-range cruise missiles.

At the same time, Russia has no plans to participate in ground operations in Syria.

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